Lately I’ve been playing a lot of solitaire on my iPhone. I have a free app called Sol Free that has six different solitaire games. There’s Baker’s Game, which is particularly difficult at times, and Demon, which I often have better luck with but sometimes it kicks my ass. Spiderette is very similar to the Spider Solitaire found on computers running Windows, but it’s much easier on my iPhone app than it’s ever been on Windows.
This morning as I was playing Spiderette, it occurred to me that in order to win at solitaire, whether it was Demon or Baker’s or whatever, I had to let go of the logical, methodical approach. With Baker’s, you can only stack the cards and move them in suited, sequential order – none of this “put the 9 of Clubs on the 10 of Diamonds.” Trying to get to the nearest Ace so I can start building up a suit doesn’t always lead to me winning the game. Nor does it help to tackle one suit in one fell swoop. Just because it’s easy to access the 4 through the 9 of Hearts doesn’t mean that’s going to be the key to winning the game. No, it might be better to stack the 9 and the 8 first, then see what other cards – and suits – I have access to as a result of that move.
Everyone knows I love a good analogy, so here it comes: I think approaching life’s challenges is very similar. Sometimes logic just doesn’t work. Sometimes methodically plugging away at a task, a relationship, or a job doesn’t reap the reward you want or need. Sometimes you have to look at your cards and decide that even though Plan A makes a lot of sense intellectually, it doesn’t make sense emotionally, and therefore Plan B is the best course of action.
Life doesn’t offer an Undo button, like my iPhone app does. But as long as you keep playing, there’s always a chance to start over.